Candida colonization in preterm babies admitted to neonatal intensive care unit in the rural setting

Mendiratta, D. K.; Narang, P.; Chhabra, S.; Chaturvedi, P.; Thamke, D.; Rawat, V.
October 2006
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Oct2006, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p263
Academic Journal
journal article
Purpose: Candida colonization in neonates results in significant morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to determine colonization of Candida spp. in preterm babies and identify the risk factors.Methods: Swabs from oral, rectum, groin and umblicus of 103 preterm and 100 term neonates were obtained within 24 hours of birth, day three, day five, day seven and thereafter every week till the neonate was admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Swabs were also collected from the mother's vagina prior to delivery. Twice every month, air of the NICU was sampled by settle plate and swabs were collected from the hands of health care workers and inanimate objects of NICU. Identification and speciation was done by standard methods. Antibiotic sensitivity was studied against amphotericin B, ketoconazole and fluconazole by disk diffusion method.Results: Colonization with Candida was significantly higher in preterms. Earliest colonization was of oral mucosa and 77.1% of the preterms had colonised at various sites by the first week of life. Significant risk factors in colonized versus non-colonized preterms were male sex, longer duration of rupture of membranes (DROM), administration of steroids and antibiotics and vaginal colonization of mothers, whereas those in preterms versus terms were low birth weight and gestational age. C. albicans was the commonest species, both in the colonized preterms (45.9%) and vagina of mothers. Resistance was seen to fluconazole and ketoconazole only. No Candida spp. was isolated from health care personnel or environment.Conclusions: Colonization of preterms by Candida is a significant problem in NICU and the significant risk factors observed in colonized preterms were male sex, longer DROM, administration of steroids and antibiotics and vaginal colonization of mothers.


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